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View from the mirror (Tumby’s Road Race 2010)

11 Aug
August 11, 2010

If you are rich and famous enough the prime car seat for a cycling fan is possibly the
commissaire’s car in the Tour de France. The downside of course is that you could end up
sharing a car with Tom Cruise or President Sarkozy. The latter is affectionately known
as ‘Sarko’ in France as I found out on the Col Mont Cenis last year.


Much better, especially as I only had to share the car with the Wu Tan Clan and the
Bad Plus, is lead car in Tumby’s Road Race. With the race split this year into two
concurrent races the sole Rutland representatives in race 2 were Darren Otter, Gary
Horsefield (would he be Gary Chevalchamp in France?) and Richard Gouldbourn. The
rear view mirrors are not the best screens to watch a race on but judging by some of the
commentary on ITV4 my mirrors must be better than Sherwen’s and Liggett’s monitors.

Things didn’t get off to a great start. One third of the way round the second lap I came
across Gary fiddling with his bike. He had clearly had a problem within the first 2
miles. He jumped back on his bike and re-joined the race as I passed him and radioed
his number through to the commissar. Maybe he thought he could argue that it was just
a long criterium and after some discussions with the motorbike outriders he carried on in
the bunch.

Four laps later and I saw Richard sitting on the grass near the finish line so by now
things were looking less rosy for the chances of a home victory. All hopes were
now resting on Darren but reports from John Hadfield were that Darren was flying.

The second race was lively right from the start. As soon as I’d turned the first corner
and left the neutralised sections the attacks started. First 2 then 4 riders got a break and I
could see the whole bunch lined out whenever we got on a straight.

All the early attacks came to nothing, including one that looked like Darren, jumping
away on his own with the whole bunch chasing him back. Numerous attacks continued,
all neutralised until a group of four got away with about 5 laps to go. These 4 were
working well, I could see them chaining in the mirrors but looking round on the corners I
could see there were no Rutland riders in it. Their lead stretched out over the next 2 laps
and with three and a half laps to go and the bunch out of sight I thought that this was the
race winning move.

With just over 3 laps to go I was relieved to see the headlamps of the second motorbike
on the back straight and as the leaders climbed the hill before the finish the bunch were
making headway.

Two and a half laps to go and it was gruppo compatto. Driving through Harworth was
getting a bit hairy by now. The roads were getting busier and I’d already been stuck
behind some half asleep driver who couldn’t make his mind up whether to turn into
the co-op or not and who almost took the break out after they passed me on the inside.
So, I was well in front coming through the village and couldn’t see much of what was
happening behind me. As I approached the bottom corner I could see 3 riders making a
very determined break and as they started the climb up to the conveyor I could see that
one of them was Rutland’s Darren, low down on the bars and with that slow roll of the

shoulders that I usually only see from the very back of the Tuesday chaingang. They
totally hammered it up the incline and I could see they were opening a gap. By now there
were tired legs in the bunch and the chase was looking determined but disorganised and
ineffectual. Up the hill towards the bell and they had about 40 tick tocks of my hazard

Coming through Harworth for the last time I could see a green bus ahead and as I
approached it pulled out in front of two other cars. Merde, now down to about fifteen
miles an hour and the break approaching fast. With hazards and orange roof light
flashing I got to a few feet of the bumper in front hoping that the drivers would see the
sign saying ‘Cycle Race Approaching’ and not be Top Gear fans. One car pulled off into
the co-op, only a very slow bus and a car to go.

The marshals controlling the roundabout helped the bus get through and away but the
car was going nowhere so I swung across to the right and saw 3 riders flash through
on my inside. Car out of the way and I roared off after the break (if it’s possible to do
much roaring in my 8 year old Skoda) winding down the window to give them a shout of
encouragement. By now I was really enjoying this, best seat in the house for the whole
race and with 5 miles to go we have a serious chance of winning. But who are these
other guys and can either of them sprint. It’s a 2,3,4 race so there must be some pretty
handy riders in it. How will Darren’s 40+ year old fast twitch muscles fare at the top of
the hill for the last time?

Along the back straight and one of the other riders tries an attack on a short incline.
Nothing doing and there is only one chaser miles back with the bunch even further
behind so they can take it a bit easy before the finish. Up the hill for the last time and I
put plenty of road between mysef and the riders so had no idea if anyone had attacked on
the climb. Through the finish line and I can see Ray parked up in the middle of the road
100 yards beyond the finish ensuring a safe sprint for the line. But where the hell am I
supposed to go. Spotted a little road to the right, swung the car round, dumped it in the
middle of the road, nipped back onto the main road just in time to see Darren winning
race 2 for the Rutland by two bike lengths.

Tumby’s Road Race (Race 2) slow mo finish cam

Well done!!!

Tumby would be well pleased to see a Rutland rider once again winning a race held in his
honour and a Rutland victory makes a very fine memorial.

What happened in race 1, no idea ask Marc and Danny

Thanks to Steve and Louise for a great day out and a fantastic race.

Amazing tour de france…

04 Aug
August 4, 2010

…pictures. Sadly I can’t claim that these were taken by me but they are are amazing and definitely worth a look. Tour de France pictures

Rutland Double Team Week – July 2010

31 Jul
July 31, 2010

A good week for Rutland team riders with two team awards in the week the first was at the clubs own open 10 mile TT on Cuckney last Tuesday (27th July) with Marc Mallender finishing second overall 59 sec down on  Kevin Dawson who apprently was not pressing on due to a back injury (I wish I did those times not pressing on) Danny Lowthorpe and Nick Latimer were the other winning members of the team award. Then today the Rutland lads took the team prize again in the Sheffrec CC 25 mile TT at Hatfield  with Marc Mallender, Danny Lowthorpe and this time Tom Bailey. Marc finished 4th overall with a 56.45 and Danny and Tom were also in the top ten on a tough windy day.

Rutland ride the Peaks Sportive – July 2010

07 Jul
July 7, 2010


July 4th saw 4 Rutlanders set out to cover 102 miles of the Peak District on a Windy morning in Sheffield to join 300 others to raise funds for Action Medical Research, a charity supporting research into diseases affecting children and babies.
Andy Ralph, John Smallwood, Marc Jacobi and Wojtek Siodelski left Sheffield Tigers’ Rugby ground with a smile which was soon to be wiped off their eager faces when they found that the only flat stretch of the ride was from Bamford to Hope.

The climbs were relentless from Mam Nik until the finish. Horrendous headwinds around Macclesfield and the surrounding moors made the stretch after lunch really hard. John had a broken chain at about 40 miles and Andy got cramp at about 90 miles.
We rolled back into the Tigers after about six and a half hours riding. John and Andy were then grateful for a free massage, courtesy of the event staff.

The event was well organised with support vehicles and a great lunch stop. It is running again next year on 26th June as the peak district 100.

Nick rides from Land’s End to John O’Groats (2010)

30 Jun
June 30, 2010


Nick Latimer put all the fitness he’d built up from short 10 mile time trials to good use by riding the end-to-end in 7 days with cycling buddy Simon Hearne. 130 miles per day was a bit of a shock to the system and for the last few days of the ride pretty much every bodily part hurt – knees, back, neck, thighs, quads, calves, feet, wrists. My stomach was ok, but when we arrived in John O’Groats at 7.30pm after a monster 135 mile day into a fierce coastal headwind and discovered that we couldn’t have a photo next to the famous sign because they take it down at 5pm to stop people dodging the £10 photo fee I was almost sick. So you can add stomach to the list too.

The ride was monstrously hard, the prevailing wind let us down as we faced a headwind for 6 days out of 7, and our bodies were pushed to limits they’d never even contemplated before. After 7 days (54 hours, 38 minutes and 13 seconds in the saddle), 908 miles (average speed 16.6mph), and 13,133 metres climbed (who knew how hilly GB is – that’s 1.5 times the height of Mount Everest) we rolled into John O’Groats broken men. Since the end of the ride I’ve been experiencing some pretty nasty muscle cramps, to the extent that the longest I’ve managed to stay on a bike without being forced off due to pain is 8 minutes! It was a great ride though, and all for charity too. If anyone’s interested in a blow-by-blow account of the ride, go to

And for anyone wishing to give to a good cause, we did the ride for Beating Bowel Cancer ( and the Haemophilia Society (

Peak RC very hilly Time Trial – June 2010

20 Jun
June 20, 2010

Last Wednesday night saw the first promotion by small local club Peak RC and with all there members helping to MARSHALL it was a  fantastic well organised event  helped also by  great summer evening weather. The course was tough, taking in the climbs of Stony Middleton and Millers Dale and covering 17 miles in total. Rutland members faired very well with Marc Mallender finishing 3rd overall in a time of 46.14 riding a normal road bike he also picked up the atheletes competition prize (great wine Mr Gibson are you a wine buff?) and was only beaten by a Rapha Condors Dan Craven 43.50 and Charles Taylor 44.20 of South Pennine CC who both rode TT bikes . Tom Bailey posted a 48.37 to finish 7th after taking the train from Nottingham to Cheterfield and riding to Calver while Tom Webb finished 16th with 51.28. Rutland CC just missed out on the team prize to rivels Sheffrec CC (or did they James?)

Anyone up for the skate park after the teacake tomorrow ?

18 Jun
June 18, 2010

Nick goes close at the Doncaster Wheelers 25 mile TT

11 Jun
June 11, 2010


Nick Latimer rode the Doncaster Wheelers 25 mile TT on Sunday 6th June, taking
on torrential rain and waterlogged roads to pick up third place.

The organisers almost decided to cancel the event after constant heavy rain in the
early hours of Sunday, which continued until just after the last rider

After lots of DNS and DNFs there were only 28 finishers, with David
Robinson of Lindsey Roads taking the win in 57.45. Nick scraped under the hour
with a new PB of 59.11.

Sheffrec CC / JE James Evening Road Race 2010 – Report

09 Jun
June 9, 2010

Last night saw a foggy and mildly moist Sheffrec road race up at the Baslow triangle course. It was a well run event by the SheffRec and I managed to win it so all was good. A big thank you goes to out to Marc and all of the SheffRec for putting on the event and giving up there time to Marshall.

54 riders departed from the Fox and Goose for the first Sheffrec CC / JE James evening road race. Damp but ever drying conditions met the riders for 17 laps of the 2.2 mile Barlow Triangle on the outskirts of Sheffield. The days previous heavy rain had caused race organisers problems and had to spend well over an hour sweeping the corners and making sure the mud washed from nearby fields was removed from the circuit. Many thanks to marshals and in particular Pete Dungworth for his efforts with shovel and broom!

The first attack of the evening came on lap 2 from race sponsors JE James rider, Charles Tennick but by the following lap he was safley back in the bunch who were looking like they’d completed the Paris Roubaix with mud sprayed over most of the bunch riders. Furth attacks came on laps 3, 4 and 5 with unattached rider Ben Thomas gaining a slight advantage over the bunch. By lap 6 all was back together with a few riders drifting off the back due to the three sharp corners that we making the race more like a crit than an open road race.

The first Science in Sport Prime came at 7 laps and was easily claimed by Chris Metcalfe riding for Matlock CC. Most riders looked content to just sit in the main bunch and wait to make their moves. The major move of the night came from local rider Danny Lowthorpe riding for Rutland CC. Danny soon gained a 20 second advantage over his rivals. On lap 9, two riders emerged from the bunch to successfully bridge the gap and join forces to ensure that this was a race winning move. The group of now 3 was made up of original instigator Danny Lowthorpe, VS Cycles Dominic Turner and another local rider, Tony Grassby from Peak Road Club. These guys meant business and soon pulled out at 40 second advantage with most riders willing just to remain in the shelter of the main bunch.

The closing laps saw the trio of Grassby, Turner and Lowthorpe further extend their lead to 1 minute and the winner of the race would now come from this move. A late surge by Paul Allen of Wakefield CC and team mate of Grassby, Steve Gibson meant that they escaped the main pack but never really made an impact on catching the 3 riders up the road. The last lap came and still the 3 riders were together as the bell rang. The crowds gathered at the finish line it was Danny Lowthorpe who emerged from the mist to take the win in style. Dan had made a jump on the penultimate climb and this saw him cross the line with 15 seconds to spare from his 2 breakaway companions.

The pairing of Grassby and Turner claimed the remaining podium places with Dominic Turner edging out Tony Grassby just before the line. A further 34 seconds back came Steve Gibson and Paul Allen to claim 4th and 5th. The bunch sprint for 6th was won by JE James rider Charles Tennick just seeing off Luke Allen, Doncaster Wheelers and local veteran rider Rob Blackburn also from JE James RT. The top 10 was rounded of by Craig Wilson from Birdwell Wheelers and Ben Last of Sportscover Strategic.

Very Wet Mapperly CC 10

01 Jun
June 1, 2010

Well they forcast rain but when I set off I did not expect that much. It was the worst conditions I have rode in and my  ‘Polar’ HR monitor gave up the ghost at the start. Wise move Geoff Hague not to start but Tom Bailey did start and even rode to and from the event from his home in Nottingham. Still it was worth it as I got third with a 21.14. James Perkins Zenith CC beat me by just four seconds (Where did I lose that-too carefull round roundabouts me thinks) and Matt Bottrill hammered me by 50 secs.